• Assignment & Quiz marks available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Monday 14 December 2020, 04:11:06 PM.

    Hi all,

    It's been a very busy couple of weeks - especially this last one. It has been 150 hours since the final exam deadline, and you guys submitted over 2000 pages of solutions that I have now read through (and given out over 15,000 marks)!

    I have finally been able to make your assignment marks (and Quiz summary) available - you can see them by looking under "Grades" at the bottom of the sidebar in webCMS. Please contact me if there are any gross errors/omissions. Although results are in the process of being finalized, it is possible to make corrections/amendments [well into next term].

    Unfortunately it is against University Policy to let you know your overall final grade (even provisionally!) before they are officially released - which will be later this week.

    This will probably be my final course-wide announcement for COMP9020. Thank you all for making it an enjoyable term (I cannot stress how much better it is when students turn up to consultations). Have an enjoyable, well-earned, break.


    PS Some statistics for you all:

    Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Quiz (best 6)
    Mean 78 74.3 75 8.7
    25%-ile 72 63.5 68.5 7.9
    Median 85.5 82 81.5 9.6
    75%-ile 92.4 91 90 10
    Total pages submitted 1342 1362 1619

  • Exam: one hour remaining

    Posted by Paul Hunter Tuesday 08 December 2020, 09:00:17 AM.

    Hi all,

    This is just to remind you that the exam deadline is in one hour. Please ensure you submit in a timely manner - as stated at the start, no allowances will be made for last-minute network issues.

    Please also be aware that some students have been granted an extension under Special Consideration, so it is not appropriate to discuss any aspect of the exam until tomorrow.


  • Exam typos v2

    Posted by Paul Hunter Monday 07 December 2020, 04:21:23 PM, last modified Monday 07 December 2020, 04:48:33 PM.

    Hi all,

    To clarify, it should say

    • Eulerian circuit rather than Eulerian cycle in Q8(a), (b) and (c).
    • In Q3, f(a) = {x : x ≼ a} (i.e. the partial order, not ≤)

  • Final exam now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Monday 07 December 2020, 10:00:01 AM.

    Hi all,

    The final exam is now available.

    The webCMS page is here: and this can be accessed under "Activities" in the sidebar menu on the course webpage.

    The exam paper can be downloaded directly here (if webCMS goes down):

    For security purposes you may be asked for your zID and zPass - please contact me asap if you are unable to access the exam script.

    Exam-specific comments

    • Marks do not necessarily reflect difficulty. I have tried to strike a balance between "easy to obtain" marks while still being able to reward students that can successfully attempt the more difficult problems. These challenging parts do not necessarily come at the end of questions - so make sure you look at all parts of each question.
    • If you wish to use the Laws of Set Operations / Laws of Propositional Equivalence / Laws of Boolean Algebra, any named rule covered in lectures/assignments is acceptable without further proof. This includes (but is not necessarily limited to):
      • The 10 standard laws
      • Principle of duality
      • Uniqueness of complement
      • De Morgan's laws
      • Idempotence
      • Annihilation
      • Double complement
      • Absorption
      • Complement of 0 / Complement of 1
    • Justification is not required for parts 6(a) and 6(b) - however if you would like to demonstrate a deeper understanding, I suggest showing how your functions work for the example tree given in Assignment 2.

  • Exam reminder

    Posted by Paul Hunter Monday 07 December 2020, 09:32:54 AM.

    Hi all,

    This is just a reminder that the COMP9020 Final exam will be starting in about 30 minutes. I will send out another notification when the exam is available, including details of how to obtain it.

    The remainder of this announcement will be summarizing the exam details.


    • The final exam is a 24-hour take-home exam
    • The exam will be made available on the course website at Monday 7 December, at 10am (AEDST)
    • The deadline for submitting your solutions is Tuesday 8 December, at 10am (AEDST)
    • Submission should be either a single pdf file and is to be made through webCMS/give. Emailed solutions are not acceptable unless there are ongoing issues with the server.
    • Submissions should not be larger than 20Mb. Typeset prose is required - any typesetting program is fine (do not spend an excessive time producing your output). Hand-drawn diagrams are ok.
    • Multiple submissions are ok - you will be assessed on the last submission received before the deadline. The last 3 submissions are kept as backup.
    • Late submissions will be penalized at 25% (of raw mark) per 15 minutes or part thereof . There is no grace period - it is your responsibility to allow for (minor) network issues such as upload times.
    • If you experience any issue that will prevent you from attempting/completing the exam, you need to apply for Special Consideration . For foreseeable issues, the application needs to be made prior to the exam. If you experience technical issues before or during the exam, you should follow these instructions:
      • Take screenshots of as many of the following as possible:
        • error messages
        • screen not loading
        • timestamped speed tests
        • power outage maps
        • messages or information from your internet provider regarding the issues experienced
      • All screenshots must include the date and time the issue occurred.
      • Make contact with me immediately (through email or Collaborate chat) and advise me of the issue.
      • Submit a Special Consideration application immediately at the conclusion of your assessment and upload your screenshots.
    • I will be available through email/forums/Collaborate from 9am-11am on Monday to answer any questions about the exam. I will be able to answer questions at other times on Monday, but there may be a delay in my response.

    Exam content and materials

    • The final exam will contribute 50% of your overall grade; and you must achieve 40% on the exam to pass the course
    • The exam consists of 10 equally weighted questions, covering the 9 major topics of the course:
      • Number theory
      • Sets
      • Relations and Functions
      • Recursion and Induction
      • Algorithmic Analysis
      • Logic
      • Graph Theory
      • Combinatorics
      • Probability
    • You are being assessed on your ability and understanding . Your solutions should aim to demonstrate these qualities to the best of your ability.
    • Your submitted work must be your own . Any student found accessing or attempting to access active sources (e.g. collaborating with other students, actively seeking answers through forums/social media, contract cheating, etc) will be considered to be in breach of the University's Plagiarism Policy , and may be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct .
    • Any existing written material (i.e. passive sources ) is permitted for reference, but should be properly referenced (i.e. referenced so that I can retrieve it). Care should be exercised when using external references: over-reliance on external references (e.g. just citing a source that provides the solution) will negatively affect the level of ability/understanding you are demonstrating; on the other hand, failure to adequately reference or paraphrase external references may be considered a breach of the University's Plagiarism Policy .

    Contact details

    I will be available for questions/issues from 10am until 12noon (AEDST) on Monday (through Collaborate). If there are any significant issues in that time I will send out a course-wide notice so that nobody misses it (please make sure to monitor the email address that you received this notification in). I will also be monitoring the course forums and my email (though the response rate might be a bit slower).

    All the best,


  • Friday consultation

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 06 December 2020, 07:39:09 PM, last modified Sunday 06 December 2020, 09:52:34 PM.

    Friday's consultation involved going through some questions from last term's exam (posted during the consultation)

    The recording is available on Collaborate:

    • Go to the Collaborate classroom for COMP9020
    • Under the hamburger (≡) menu in the top right you can select "Recordings"
    • In the recording, you can select the chevron in the bottom right to see the chat.

    Unfortunately my working was not being recorded (though the exam questions were), so I've quickly filmed my notes (with addtional commentary because I don't know when to stop talking). These are available through zoom:


  • Assignment 3 solutions available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 06 December 2020, 11:48:50 AM.

    Hi all,

    Solutions and a walkthrough of Assignment 3 is available under lecture recordings. I will link to them on webCMS when I have access to my computer.

    Lecture slides have also been updated to include exercise answers.


  • Change of time for upcoming consultation

    Posted by Paul Hunter Thursday 03 December 2020, 05:53:03 PM.

    Hi all,

    Due to unavoidable circumstances, tonight's scheduled consultation will be moved to tomorrow (Friday) evening at 8pm (AEDST). Apologies for the inconvenience,


  • Quiz 9 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 22 November 2020, 12:28:57 PM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 9 is now available. It is due at 15:00 on Tuesday November 24 (AEDST).

    I have also set up a poll revisiting the start-of-course poll - note that the results are purely opinion-based, there is no right or wrong answer - I'm just interested to see what effects (if any) I've had...

    Finally, a reminder to fill in the myExperience survey so that I can identify areas of the course that need improvement (as well as any that don't!).


  • Poll for upcoming lecture

    Posted by Paul Hunter Thursday 19 November 2020, 02:13:51 PM.

    Hi all,

    In the lecture on Tuesday I finished with a quick probability game as a bit of fun for the last (official) lecture of the course. I've posted a poll on it here:

    Have a think about it and post your answer...


  • Quiz 8 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 15 November 2020, 01:51:18 PM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 8 is now available. It is due at 3pm on Tuesday 17th November (AEDST).


  • Assignment 2 solutions walkthrough

    Posted by Paul Hunter Thursday 12 November 2020, 02:06:18 PM.

    Hi all,

    In place of tonight's consultation, I will be doing a walkthrough of the solutions for Assignment 2. This will be held on Zoom (use the link for the online lectures), and it will be recorded. Start time 8pm (AEDST).

    I will also briefly go over some comments about Assignment 3 and of course answer any questions you have about any part of the course.

    Attendence is completely optional. Based on the Assignment 1 walkthrough it should be apparent that I am quite happy to blather on with no audience :-)


  • Assignment 3 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Thursday 12 November 2020, 02:00:00 PM.

    Hi all,

    Assignment 3 is now available, apologies for the delay.

    It will be due on Thursday November 26 at 15:00 (AEDST).


  • Quiz 7 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 08 November 2020, 01:41:09 PM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 7 is now available. It is due at 15:00 on Tuesday 10 November (AEDST) .


  • Quiz 6 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 01 November 2020, 12:01:16 PM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 6 is now available - it is due at 15:00 on Tuesday 3rd November (AEDST).

    A reminder that Assignment 2 is also due at that time.

    Although we haven't covered the formal definition of validity, Q10 of the quiz can still be attempted with the informal description given in lectures.

  • Discussion forum (ed)

    Posted by Paul Hunter Wednesday 28 October 2020, 12:14:56 AM.

    Hi all,

    I've opened up a forum on ed for COMP9020 discussion - you should have received an invitation (or will do soon). It is a little more user-friendly than the system on webCMS (e.g. all the posts are in the same place, and it supports LaTeX in the comments). Please feel free to post your comments/questions/discussions/memes there - I'd like to see more student interaction for the last few weeks of the course. The link will remain in the menu on the sidebar.

    I will still respond to questions posted on the webCMS forums; and I will continue to post course-wide announcements on the course website.


  • Quiz 5 results update

    Posted by Paul Hunter Tuesday 27 October 2020, 08:53:28 PM.

    Hi all,

    There were a couple of incorrectly marked answers in the solutions for Quiz 5 (always take your answer from the feedback). These have been corrected and some additional feedback has been added to other questions. Your marks should be updated to reflect the corrections.

    Thank you to those who flagged the issue,


  • Quiz 5 extension (+ 3 hours)

    Posted by Paul Hunter Tuesday 27 October 2020, 07:58:16 AM.

    Hi all,

    webCMS was down for several hours last night which may have affected some students' ability to submit their quiz.

    Because of this, I have extended the deadline of Quiz 5 by 3 hours to 18:00, Tuesday 27 October (AEDST) . If there are any further significant disruptions before this deadline I will consider further extensions.


  • Quiz 5 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 25 October 2020, 02:06:36 PM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 5 is now available. It is due at 15:00, Tuesday October 27 (AEDST) .


  • Typo in Assignment 2

    Posted by Paul Hunter Friday 23 October 2020, 08:37:08 PM.

    Hi all,

    There was a small error in Assignment 2, question 3(g) should be "If |S|=k show that (R ∪ R ) is the minimum (with respect to ⊆) of all equivalence relations that contain R." (rather than least upper bound ). I have updated the assignment sheet with the correction.


  • Assignment 2 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Tuesday 20 October 2020, 12:24:46 PM.

    Hi all,

    The second assignment is now available. It is due at 15:00, Tuesday November 3 (AEDST) .

    Please note that WebCMS will be unavailable from 6pm-9pm tomorrow while the discussion forum is being upgraded. Hopefully an upgraded discussion forum will make it easier for you to ask and answer questions.


  • Quiz 4 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 11 October 2020, 11:38:28 AM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 4 is now available. It is due at 15:00 on Tuesday 13 October AEDST . (Same time as the assignment).


  • Assignment 1 deadline moved to 15:00, Tuesday 13 October

    Posted by Paul Hunter Friday 09 October 2020, 10:50:30 AM.

    Hi all,

    The fourth quiz and the first assignment will both be due on Tuesday. So to avoid any confusion, I have moved the deadline of the assignment back three hours to 15:00, Tuesday 13 October (AEDST) so that the times match up.

    I have updated the assignment sheet to reflect the revised due time (and added some points of clarification).

    The additional time also applies to any student that has been granted Special Consideration.


  • Online proof assistant now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Friday 09 October 2020, 05:10:57 AM.

    Hi all,

    The tool to assist with proofs using the Laws of Set Operations is now available (under Additional Material in the webCMS menu). I have set it up with a number of practice questions (to appear in the forthcoming Practice Questions Sheet) as well as the questions from the assignment, so you have plenty of material to work with. It does require javascript running on your browser.

    Some features I'm hoping to sort out shortly:

    • Ability to enter your own problems
    • Ability to save progress
    • Adding the Principle of duality and Uniqueness of complement

    It is very much an ongoing project - please get in touch if you think you've found an issue (or want to suggest some improvements).



  • Change of time for upcoming consultation

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 04 October 2020, 11:17:26 AM.

    Hi all,

    I cannot make the scheduled consultation time tomorrow, so the upcoming consultation on Monday will now be from 8pm -9pm (on Monday) . This is only for this week, future Monday consultations will still be at 12-1.


  • Quiz 3 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 04 October 2020, 11:11:34 AM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 3 is now available, it is due at 15:00 on Tuesday October 6 (AEDST) .


  • Assignment 1 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Tuesday 29 September 2020, 10:37:53 AM.

    Hi all,

    The first assignment is now available.

    It is due at 12 noon, Tuesday 13 October (AEDST) <- note that this is Daylight savings time!

    I will briefly talk about the assignment at the start of today's lecture.


  • Quiz 2 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 27 September 2020, 12:18:55 PM.

    Hi all,

    Quiz 2 is now available. It is due on Tuesday at 15:00 (AEST) .


  • Today's consultation cancelled

    Posted by Paul Hunter Monday 21 September 2020, 11:45:33 AM.

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, today's consultation will be cancelled. If there were any issues you wanted to discuss, please email me and I will get back to you asap.

    Apologies for the short notice,


  • Quiz 1 now available

    Posted by Paul Hunter Sunday 20 September 2020, 10:42:32 AM.

    Hi all,

    The first quiz is now available - due 15:00 on Tuesday, Sept 22 (AEST) .

    Apologies to anyone who saw & attempted a quiz available yesterday - that was a leftover from last term. You will still need to attempt the current quiz (and note: questions have changed).


  • Welcome to COMP9020

    Posted by Paul Hunter Saturday 12 September 2020, 12:57:53 PM, last modified Saturday 12 September 2020, 01:44:04 PM.

    Hi all,

    Welcome to COMP9020 - Foundations of Computer Science. This is just a brief announcement to introduce you to various aspects of the course: the website, the learning interfaces, and the staff (me).

    This term COMP9020 will be delivered completely online. I encourage you to familiarise yourself with the course website:

    as it provides the starting point for all aspects of the course.

    Lectures begin next Tuesday (Sept 15) and will be delivered in real time on Zoom. Details of the lectures can be found on the course website once you have logged in to webCMS. If you do not yet have your zID/zPassword set up, please contact me directly (contact details can be found through the Course Outline page). Lectures will be recorded, and the recording will be available shortly after the lecture finishes.

    There are no tutorials or classes for this course.

    In lieu of office hours, I have set up online consultation hours twice a week. These are intended to be student-driven and generally group-based. The course forums also provide a platform to ask questions and discuss the course material.

    There is currently a pre-course, one-question questionnaire available here . It is by no means compulsory, and there is no right/wrong answer - I am primarily interested to see how (if at all) your perspective changes after taking this course.

    Looking forward to virtually meeting you on Tuesday,

    Paul Hunter
    (Lecturer in Charge)

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